So when someone says "everything happens for a reason" what kind of response could I use there? I hear that a lot, and in an attempt to feel witty I'd love to have something clever to say there. Since "What does physics have to do with it?!" doesn't quite pack the punch I'd like perhaps someone else has a good one liner.
That's some good insight thank you.
In response to the OP for me it feels pretty obvious at this point in my rational thinking evolution that karma is nothing more than wishful thinking. I don't believe walking under a ladder or some other accursed action will bring a reaction any more than sticking feathers in bacon will cause pigs to fly.
Ask "why"? That'll throw em off their balance. People who spurt that line are usually just pseudo intellectuals but could never ever explain it.
I hear it all the time, mostly from my close friends. I don't have the heart to burst their little bubble of a karma filled life so I tend not to say anything. I don't think they could handle believing that the bad people in the world will inevitably get no kind of judgment unless it is in the form of a human judge.
Sorry, I am no help there.
yes,, when I hear the 'everything happens for a reason' line like there's some divine purpose and will behind it...... I always think of all the horrible things that happen on this planet and wonder what kind of a monster this planner must be. Genecide, torture, murder, physical abuse, sexual abuse, mental and emotional abuse.....these are all a part of god's plan? Death and suffering magnified beyond all reason... This is part of god's plan?
Not just no but fuck no! How can people believe this shit? They certainly don't think it through.
I used to believe in karma and all of that when I was a theist. Now that I'm an atheist it all sounds completely ridiculous to me. I feel you can only believe stuff like that if you think something's out there looking out for you. But without that worldview, it makes no sense.
Belief in Karma is similar to believing that there is some kind of cosmic judge that presides of human affairs. When some misfortune occurs some people will see it as part of a process that will be counterbalanced by some future action rather than it just being a random occurrence.
Theists are more likely to believe in other superstitions, sometimes holding these beliefs with as much conviction as they hold their faith without ever being aware of the doublethink involved. They will be “amazed” at the powers of the tarot card reader and the plans the readings shows for their future. They will read their daily “horrorscopes” and adjust their actions accordingly. They will, at the same time, contend that their life is part of gods plan. They never seem to be aware of the contradiction.
I think most Atheists – once they clear out the religious junk from their thinking – will sooner or later come to realise that any of the “ologies” that are not scientific are bogus. I include everything that offers no evidence as to it veracity – tarot cards, astrology, psychic healers, crystals, ghosts, etc. (it’s a long list). It’s all woo. Like religions, they may have had a use at some point in our past history but are now not much use even as forms of entertainment. When people believe in forms of Woo or pseudoscience they tend to be more likely to belief that the power of a greater is at work. It’s a power that is usually considered to be “good” and therefore will balance things out for them. Now I’m off to pay my guru to fix my chakras. My chi needs sorting out man.
As an atheist who is so because I require evidence to believe in things and form my worldview on reason and logic, I agree with you and I think most Western atheists do. Of course many Buddhists and some Hindus are atheist whilst still believing in all sorts of supernatural things including karma and destiny etc.
Well, the lion wouldn't be subject to karma because it's acting according to its nature and because it has to eat. It evolved to eat prey like zebras. It would die if it tried to live on savanna grass. So, not a great example.
Karma relies on a moral standard against which freely acting agents can be judged. I reject karma because it relies on a universal moral standard, which in turn implies a higher power, or at least some kind of supernatural order, for which there is no evidence.
Karma belongs to religions like Hinduism and Buddhism that believe in reincarnation. The "karma" in those religions might mean, for example, that if you're a bad person in this life, your next life might be as what they regard as a lesser being. An insect, for example. Karma does not have to show its effects in this life.
"does not have to"...or it can?
I left an "out" because the word "karma" has been adopted and redefined by Westerners to mean something like "What goes around comes around" in this lifetime.
Westerners use the word "karma" in a sense that wouldn't strictly speaking correct in the context of Eastern religions.
I've had my own re-definition of karma, and forgot that it came via a western pov. I never believed in it in supernatural terms, but thought of it in more generalized terms, like good deeds beget positive outcomes, bad deeds beget negative outcomes, and so on. My actions and even my attitude affect outcomes. So I feel comfortable acting as if there is a kind of non-supernatural or metaphorical karma, and it still feels (to me) like free will.
In my mind, I've also re-defined spirituality as non-supernatural, because I know I can feel it sometimes. I'd be willing to use new words instead of re-defining old words, except I also feel I have a right and an obligation to help my religious friends consider new ways to think of these words. (Do I sound arrogant, trying to take ownership of some of the language like this?)